Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists use PET scans to monitor lung inflammation noninvasively

10.03.2006


A noninvasive approach for assessing lung inflammation should accelerate efforts to develop drugs for inflammatory lung conditions like cystic fibrosis and pneumonia, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.


In this PET image, the arrow shows inflammation of the lungs.



Researchers have used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to monitor artificially induced inflammation in the lungs of healthy volunteers. The new imaging process may help doctors monitor the conditions of patients with inflammatory lung diseases and should make it easier to test potential anti-inflammatory drugs in trials.

"Until now, when we wanted to assess whether a new drug decreased lung inflammation, the options for specifically measuring active inflammation were not pleasant," says lead author Delphine Chen, M.D., chief resident in nuclear medicine at the medical school’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. "We could perform a bronchoscopy and gather samples directly from the breathing passages, or we could have patients inhale a saline solution and cough it back up."


To make it possible to detect lung inflammation with PET, Chen and her colleagues employed an imaging technique commonly used to diagnose cancer and monitor its treatment. Scientists reported the results in a paper published online by The Journal of Applied Physiology.

Senior author Daniel P. Schuster, M.D., professor of medicine and of radiology, hopes the new imaging process will make it possible to give new drugs trial runs.

"Full-scale clinical trials are costly in terms of both time and dollars spent, and right now it’s very difficult to find intermediate steps that allow us to build confidence in a drug’s effectiveness before taking that plunge," Schuster says.

With the new PET procedure, Schuster says, researchers developing anti-inflammatory drugs can test the drugs’ effects in less expensive trials involving smaller groups of healthy volunteers and patients.

"If the drug passes those tests, then you can say, okay, let’s see in a full-scale trial if the drug actually has an impact on some important patient-centered outcome like mortality or disease progression," he says.

To create areas of limited lung inflammation in healthy volunteers, researchers used a technique originally developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. It involves the injection, via bronchoscope, of a small amount of endotoxin into a lung segment.

"Endotoxin is a purified bacterial substance that triggers inflammation," Schuster says. "The technique we used keeps that inflammation compartmentalized to a small region in the lung, ensuring that the inflammation doesn’t become systemic."

Another research group previously had shown that this artificial inflammation could be used to test potential drugs, but they followed the effects of the drugs via a second insertion of the bronchoscope into the volunteers’ tracheas.

Chen and her colleagues instead injected volunteers with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a form of sugar readily detectable by PET, and continuously monitored the lungs for 60 minutes to see how much FDG appeared there.

Scientists already have completed a trial to test the new imaging procedure’s ability to detect inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients that will be published soon in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Michael Purdy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>